2005 Ford Taurus SEL 3.0 Vulcan from North America
Wall-E of the automotive world
Driver's window track is broken.
Sunroof won't open due to neglected slide track.
CEL on due to bad IAC.
Front suspension is shot (control arm bushings and strut tower).
I got this car in pretty decent condition for $400. There were some title issues (previous owner never registered the car, sold it to someone else who backed out leaving me with a partially filled out title).
You can tell it has had a hard life. But overall it still feels solid. The seats are comfortable, performance is acceptable, and for nearly 200k miles there are surprisingly few problems.
Owning a Taurus is like having an old Labrador. They welcome you with open arms, never complain, and while you can't quite put your finger on the reason you like them so much, you can't imagine life without them. Sure they may pee oil on the driveway now and then, but that is just part of the charm of owning such a vehicle.
A Taurus is without surprise. It's the kind of vehicle you take to a doctor's appointment. It's the kind of vehicle you take on a long trip. Not because it's particularly comfortable or fun to drive, but because it is one less worry to have. It's that friend you've had since 2nd grade who had plans to become a famous innovator, but later settled for middle management at a copier firm because he was good at it. He tells boring stories at gatherings, but always brings the best imported beers.
While there are brutish barbarian like versions of the Taurus (SHO), these are like 3rd cousins twice removed.
I love Fords. Half the car can be destroyed and it will still get you from A to B. This goes for most Fords I have owned.
If you are considering a Taurus, it's not likely that you are doing so as a fan of this exceptionally bland vehicle, rather you are likely looking at something in your price range, I speak to you directly when I say it is worth it in the long run. They are unbelievably reliable; trans issues are not as wide spread as jaded owners make them out to be. They are VERY cheap to fix and thrive on neglect and abuse.
Insurance is cheap. Your average shade tree mechanic can do most any service on it. These were fleet vehicles. Parts will be available for decades to come.
Could you buy a Honda for the average price of a Taurus? Possibly. The problem with sub $2k vehicles is finding one that has not been beaten to an inch of its life. A Taurus of any generation will fare better than any import in this price range. Honda carries a premium. Kias and Hyundais are OK. Chrysler is a disappointment on all levels. GM is equally bland but more expensive to repair. I'd love to justify my accusations, but I want to get this review placed.
This is an average car with no potential. It is everything it was designed to be and will do so proudly. This car is the Wall-E of the automotive world.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd March, 2017
24th Mar 2017, 19:20
I meant to say the following in closing...
This car is unashamedly plain. It provides acceptable comfort, modest performance, passable gas mileage and more than adequate storage space. This is as simple as one can get to reliable function.
If you are considering one, make sure the basics are good. CV boots intact, decent tires, all software updates have been performed. Oil leaks are not just common, they are actually normal.
At 200k miles, the car still feels as though it was solidly built. The Vulcan engine is a workhorse. The transmission is... well it's a slushbox. Still shifts securely with no wandering or hard shifts. This car has had a very rough life, but it doesn't seem to care. That is the charm of this car. When you push it, it responds with "whatever"; if you neglect it, it just shrugs and powers on.
We've all had that friend that sticks around, even though we've consistently borrowed 5 bucks for gas and never paid it back. He isn't bothered by it because he knows tomorrow is another day. Yes, he has gout and his eyesight is fading, but he still jumps up to volunteer assistance with moving. He never asks for anything in return. Yeah he's kind of awkward, has a few habits you'd rather he didn't, but still you know you can count on him any time you need. This is an important analogy because it quantifies what owning this car is like. It's your wingman (or woman) that you can trust.
Nothing is remarkable about this car. And that is the beauty of it. It carries no responsibility of top performance or bragging rights to any feature. And while it was designed to compete in the same class as the Accord and the Camry... it gladly accepts 3rd place. While imports have a performance culture that hunts down cars to modify... the Taurus just sits there with a smile. It will do whatever is asked of it. It does a little bit of everything but masters nothing.
If you are looking for the automotive equivalent of a yappy dog that shivers constantly and pees everywhere, you are better off looking for a Honda. If you want humans' best friend, grab a Taurus.